Highlights of Apple’s 2018 Shareholders Meeting

Apple's annual shareholders meeting took place at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park this morning, with shareholders gathering to vote on proposals and ask questions of Apple executives.

Apple does not live stream its shareholders meetings, but several members of the press, such as CNET's Shara Tibken and Business Insider's Kif Leswing, were at the event and shared details on what was covered on Twitter.

Image via Shara Tibken

Much of the meeting was spent discussing shareholder proposals, several of which were routine proposals direct from Apple for re-electing the board of directors, compensating executives, appointing Ernst & Young LLP as Apple's public accounting firm, and approving the non-employee Director Stock Plan. All of these passed with more than 95% approval.

Two proposals from shareholders, one that asked Apple to implement more relaxed rules for letting shareholders nominate directors to the board and another asking Apple to form a human rights commission were defeated. 32 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the first, while just 5.6 percent voted in favor of the second.

During a Q&A session, and during the proposal discussion portion of the shareholders meeting, Apple CEO Tim Cook made a few interesting comments worth highlighting, though much of what was said was a repeat of comments made during Apple's Q1 2018 earnings call earlier this month.

- iPhone X customer satisfaction is at 99%.

- Apple's wearables business, which includes AirPods, Beats, and Apple Watch, is "approaching" the size of a Fortune 300 company. Earlier this month, Cook said it was the size of a Fortune 400 company.

- Apple acquired 19 companies in 2017 (10 of those are known, nine unknown).

- Across all products, Apple holds almost a quarter of a billion subscriptions.

- On the topic of Telegram being briefly removed from the App Store earlier this month for elicit content, Cook said Apple has "always curated [Apple's] properties." Apple keeps pornography, terrorism, and other questionable content out of the App Store. "I think people are coming around to that actually being a good thing," said Cook.

- Apple has internal candidates ready to succeed Tim Cook, which is a topic that comes up at every shareholders meeting.

- Cook said mobile payments have "taken off slower than I personally would have thought." Adoption is speeding up though in key countries like China and Russia. Cook also said he hopes he'll still be alive "to see the elimination of money."

- On a question about special dividends, Cook said he's "not a fan," but Apple is committed to increasing dividends each year. Apple will provide more info on its capital return program in April.

- On the topic of retail stores, Cook said Apple doesn't believe physical stores will go away. "We believe that interaction with people still beats anything," he said.

- Apple won't open its main ring-shaped building at Apple Park for tours because "we have so much confidential stuff around." "Keeping stuff confidential is the bane of my existence now," said Cook.


Shareholders also asked a few frivolous questions, which ate into the Q&A time and limited what we heard from Apple executives. One asked about Apple's work in oral health, a topic Cook said Apple isn't focusing on, while another asked when Apple will introduce a waterproof iPhone (iPhones have been water resistant since the iPhone 7).

There was a question on Blockchain, which Cook avoided, and one investor, still using iOS 9, abstained from voting on board re-election because of Apple's "bad" software updates that have removed features. "I'm not gonna sell my stock or buy the competitor's stuff because it's even worse," he said.

Apple holds its shareholders meetings on an annual basis, with the next one scheduled to take place in early 2019. This year's meeting had limited attendance due to the size limitations of the Apple Park theater, but shareholders not able to attend were able to vote on proposals by proxy ahead of the meeting.
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iPhone Source Code Was Leaked by Low-Level Apple Employee

Earlier this week, source code for iBoot, a core component of the iPhone's operating system, leaked on GitHub. The code was old, for a version of iOS 9, and it was quickly pulled from GitHub after Apple issued a DMCA takedown notice, but it left many wondering how such sensitive code ended up publicly available.

To answer that question, Motherboard got in touch with unnamed sources who were involved in the leak and investigated screenshots, text messages, and more, to determine just how it happened.


As it turns out, the code originally came from a low-level Apple employee who took the code from Apple in 2016 to share with friends in the jailbreaking community. This employee wasn't unhappy with Apple and didn't steal the code with malicious intent, but instead was encouraged by friends to obtain the code to benefit the jailbreaking community.
The person took the iBoot source code--and additional code that has yet to be widely leaked--and shared it with a small group of five people.

"He pulled everything, all sorts of Apple internal tools and whatnot," a friend of the intern told me. Motherboard saw screenshots of additional source code and file names that were not included in the GitHub leak and were dated from around the time of this first leak.
The original group of five people who were provided with access to the code didn't intend to share it, but it somehow got out. From one of the original people involved:
"I personally never wanted that code to see the light of day. Not out of greed but because of fear of the legal firestorm that would ensue," they said. "The Apple internal community is really full of curious kids and teens.I knew one day that if those kids got it they'd be dumb enough to push it to GitHub."
The code began circulating more widely in 2017 and picked up in popularity late in the year before ending up on GitHub this week. Many in the jailbreaking and iPhone research communities attempted to stop sharing, but the major public leak couldn't be avoided.

According to the unnamed people who spoke to Motherboard, what leaked wasn't the "full leak." "It's not the original leak-it's a copy," said one source.

Following the leak, Apple confirmed the authenticity of the code in a statement to MacRumors and pointed out that it's for a three-year-old operating system that's been replaced by iOS 11 and is in use only on a small number of devices.
"Old source code from three years ago appears to have been leaked, but by design the security of our products doesn't depend on the secrecy of our source code. There are many layers of hardware and software protections built into our products, and we always encourage customers to update to the newest software releases to benefit from the latest protections."
The iBoot code leak should not be of concern to the average user because Apple has many layers of protection in place, like the Secure Enclave, and does not rely on source code secrecy alone to keep its users safe. The leak could, however, make it easier for people to locate vulnerabilities to create new jailbreaks.
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Apple Confirms iPhone Source Code Leak is Real, But Says its Security Doesn’t Depend on Secrecy

Source code for iBoot, a core component of the iPhone's operating system leaked on GitHub yesterday, raising concerns that the hackers and security researchers could dig into the code to find iOS vulnerabilities.


In a statement issued to MacRumors this morning, Apple confirmed the authenticity of the code but emphasized that it's for iOS 9, a three-year-old operating system that's been replaced with iOS 11 and is in use on only a small number of devices.
"Old source code from three years ago appears to have been leaked, but by design the security of our products doesn't depend on the secrecy of our source code. There are many layers of hardware and software protections built into our products, and we always encourage customers to update to the newest software releases to benefit from the latest protections."
Based on data from Apple's App Store support page for developers, iOS 11 is installed on 65 percent of devices, iOS 10 is installed on 28 percent of devices, and earlier versions of iOS, such as iOS 9, are installed on just seven percent of devices.

In addition to acknowledging that the leak contained real source code, Apple this morning also sent a DMCA takedown notice to GitHub this morning, successfully getting the code removed from the site.

The data that was shared on GitHub was incomplete so the iBoot code was not able to be compiled, but it did include a documents directory that offered up additional information relevant to iBoot, and combined, the data leak could make it easier to locate vulnerabilities to create new jailbreaks.

Average users should not need to be concerned about the leak, however, as Apple has many layers of protection in place, like the Secure Enclave, and does not rely on source code secrecy alone as a way to keep its users safe.

Security researcher Will Strafach, who spoke to TechCrunch, echoed what Apple had to say. He believes the source code is compelling because it provides an inside look into the inner workings of the bootloader, but ultimately, "Apple does not use security through obscurity," so there is nothing risky in the code.
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iPhone Source Code From iOS 9 Leaked on Github

Source code for a core component of the iPhone's operating system recently leaked on GitHub, according to reports from Motherboard and Redmond Pie.

The code, which appears to be for iBoot, or the part of iOS that ensures a trusted boot of the operating system, was initially shared online several months ago on Reddit, but it resurfaced today on GitHub where it will presumably receive more attention. Motherboard consulted security experts who have confirmed that the code appears to be legitimate.


The iBoot code appears to be from a version of iOS 9, so it's not entirely relevant to the current iOS 11.2.5 operating system, but some of the code from iOS 9 likely still exists in iOS 11. It remains to be seen if anything will come of the leak, though, and it's also worth noting that modern iOS devices have protection in the form of the Secure Enclave.

There are files missing from the GitHub leak so the code can't be compiled, but security experts on Twitter say it could allow hackers and security researchers to find iOS vulnerabilities and create jailbreaks.


Along with the iBoot code, the leak includes a documents directory that offers up additional information relevant to iBoot, which Redmond Pie suggests could make it much easier to find a bootrom exploit for permanently jailbreaking iPhones and iPads.

Apple has open sourced portions of macOS and iOS in recent yearrs, but iBoot is something that Apple has been careful to keep private. As Motherboard points out, Apple's own bug bounty program pays out up to $200,000 for vulnerabilities discovered in secure boot firmware components.
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iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X Batteries Less Impacted by Performance Management

Apple's newest iPhones, including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, use a "different performance management system" than older iPhones, which means any performance management features may be less noticeable on these devices.

Apple outlined the difference between its newer iPhones and older models in an updated support document covering the Battery Health features introduced in today's iOS 11.3 beta. Apple says iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X use a more advanced hardware and software design that's better able to estimate power needs and battery performance.

iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models use a more advanced hardware and software design that provides a more accurate estimation of both power needs and the battery's power capability to maximize overall system performance. This allows a different performance management system that more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown. As a result, the impacts of performance management may be less noticeable on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. Over time, the rechargeable batteries in all iPhone models will diminish in their capacity and peak performance and will eventually need to be replaced.
Though the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X may be less impacted by performance management features in the future, Apple says that the rechargeable batteries in all iPhone models will eventually diminish in capacity and need to be replaced for the iPhone to continue running at peak performance.

While Apple previously said that the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X do not have power management features installed at the current time, today's updated support document gives us some insight into how these devices might be affected in the future.

Apple has implemented performance management features in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus. As of iOS 11.3 beta 2, customers can check to see if their devices are impacted by processor slowdowns in a new "Battery Health" section of the Settings app.

Installing iOS 11.3 will turn off any current performance management features on older devices, and it will only be reimplemented if and when a device experiences an unexpected shutdown. Customers also have the option of turning off the feature even after an unexpected shutdown, but it will need to be disabled after each performance failure.

For devices that have degraded batteries that are causing performance issues, replacing the battery solves the problem. Apple is continuing to offer $29 battery replacements through the end of 2018.
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Apple Substituting Some 16GB iPhone 5c Models In Need of Replacement With 32GB Models

For the foreseeable future, Apple and Apple Authorized Service Providers will offer some customers who own a 16GB iPhone 5c that's in need of replacement a 32GB model instead.

Apple shared the new directive with Apple Authorized Service Providers this morning.


"Orders for whole unit service inventory of iPhone 5c (16GB) models may be substituted to iPhone 5c (32GB) models until further notice," reads the note that was sent out today.

Not all 16GB iPhone 5c replacements will be upgraded to 32GB devices instead, but some customers who take their iPhone 5c models in for repair for a manufacturing issue or other problem may see an upgrade to the larger capacity 32GB model.

Apple did not offer a reason why some 16GB iPhone 5c models are being replaced with 32GB models, but it's often due to available supply at any given time.

The iPhone 5c was first introduced alongside the iPhone 5s in September of 2013, and it's the only 4-inch iPhone that Apple has introduced with a colorful plastic exterior.

Apple stopped offering 16 and 32GB iPhone 5c models for sale in most countries in September of 2014, but continued selling an 8GB model until September of 2015. In India, the iPhone 5c was still available through February of 2016, but since that time, the iPhone 5c has been fully discontinued in all countries.
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iMac Pro Compared to 5K iMac and MacBook Pro

MacRumors videographer Dan recently got his hands on the new 8-core iMac Pro, and he decided to compare it to his other machines, a 2015 5K iMac and a 2016 MacBook Pro to see how it measures up when it comes to his everyday video editing workload.

In the video below, Dan takes a look at how well the iMac Pro performs on tasks like editing video, exporting video, and reading and writing data. If you're wondering whether the entry-level iMac Pro is worth the $5,000 price tag when you've already got hardware on hand like an iMac or a MacBook Pro, this video is worth checking out because it might help you make a decision.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Dan compared the entry-level 8-core iMac Pro with a 3.2GHz Intel Xeon W processor to a late 2015 iMac with a 3.2GHz 6th-generation Intel processor, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive, and AMD Radeon M390 graphics card and a late 2016 MacBook Pro with a 2.7GHz 6th-generation Intel processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and AMD Radeon Pro 455 graphics card.

Unsurprisingly, the iMac Pro was much faster when it came to benchmarks and performance tasks, and compared to the iMac and the MacBook Pro, the overall experience is smoother due to the sheer power of the processor and the GPU. It's ultra quick when editing video, even with multiple system intensive apps open, and it's quiet as a mouse with no loud fans.

The 5K iMac did win out slightly on video exporting time over the iMac Pro, but the iMac Pro wasn't far behind and it came out on top in all other tests.

Pricing on the iMac Pro starts at $4,999 for the entry-level 8-core model with 32GB 2666 MHz ECC RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics card, but goes up to $13,199 depending on the upgrades you choose. Even at $4,999 it's a couple thousand dollars more expensive than an iMac or a MacBook Pro, but it has the potential to be fully worth the asking price if you do system intensive creative work like video editing.

For more details on the iMac Pro, make sure to check out our iMac Pro roundup.
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Apple Plans $350 Billion Boost to U.S. Economy Over 5 Years, 20,000 New Jobs, and a New Campus

Apple today highlighted its plan to to bolster the U.S. economy through job creation, existing investments, and new investments, with the company on target to contribute $55 billion to the economy in 2018 and $350 billion over the course of the next five years.

Along with its $350 billion contribution through direct employment, investment with domestic suppliers, and the App Store economy, Apple will increase its Advanced Manufacturing Fund from $1 billion to $5 billion.


The Advanced Manufacturing Fund is designed to create jobs in the United States through investments in Apple suppliers. Apple has already invested $200 million in Corning, maker of Gorilla Glass, and $390 million in Finisar, a supplier that makes vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) components found in the iPhone X's True Depth camera.
"Apple is a success story that could only have happened in America, and we are proud to build on our long history of support for the US economy," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We believe deeply in the power of American ingenuity, and we are focusing our investments in areas where we can have a direct impact on job creation and job preparedness. We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible."
Apple plans to repatriate much of its overseas profits and expects to pay taxes of $38 billion when doing so, which Apple says is likely to be the largest payment of this kind ever made. That tax payment, combined with its U.S. investments and planned capital expenditures, will account for $75 billion of its projected $350 billion contribution.

Apple will be paying 15.5 percent in taxes to repatriate its overseas cash, suggesting the company plans to repatriate approximately $245 billion, or nearly all of its foreign money.

Apple will create 20,000 new jobs and spend $30 billion hiring new employees at its existing campus and opening a new campus. Apple has a new campus in the works that will "initially house technical support for customers." Its location will be announced later in the year.

More than $10 billion of Apple's planned capital expenditures will be investments in data centers across the United States, with Apple breaking ground on a new facility in Reno, Nevada starting today.

Apple's final plan to bolster the economy is through education. The company will expand its current coding initiatives that are designed to help people learn how to create iOS apps using Swift and it will increase funding for ConnectED to help students in "historically underserved communities" learn coding skills.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Apple’s Tim Cook and More Than 100 CEOs Urge Congress to Protect Dreamers

Apple's Tim Cook on Wednesday joined over 100 other CEOs in urging the U.S. Congress to pass a bill to protect young immigrants before the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program expires. For those unfamiliar with the program, DACA gives about 800,000 illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. at age 16 or younger work permits and protection from deportation by two-year deferral. Many of those protected by DACA have been in the United States for most of their lives.

In an open letter to House and Senate leaders, the group called on lawmakers to introduce legislation supporting so-called Dreamers by Friday, which is the deadline for Congress to pass a bill for government funding to avert a shutdown. The DACA program actually expires on March 5, but the CEO signatories say the government needs time to implement a new program before that deadline.
"We write to urge Congress to act immediately and pass a permanent bipartisan legislative solution to enable Dreamers who are currently living, working, and contributing to our communities to continue doing so," the letter reads. "The imminent termination of the DACA program is creating an impending crisis for workforces across the country."
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft president Brad Smith, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam were additional signatories of the letter, which cited a CATO Institute study that found ending the DACA program could cause a $215 billion decline in the gross domestic product.
"In addition to causing a tremendous upheaval in the lives of DACA employees, failure to act in time will lead to businesses losing valuable talent, cause disruptions in the workforce, and will result in significant costs," the group wrote. "While delay or inaction will cause significant negative impact to businesses, hundreds of thousands of deserving young people across the country are counting on you to work in a bipartisan way to pass permanent legislative protection for Dreamers without further delay."
Tim Cook has been consistent in his support for a legislative solution to protect those affected by the end of the DACA program. Following U.S. President Donald Trump's September announcement that DACA would be phased out over six months, Cook sent an email to employees saying Apple would try to help Congress find a solution and would be working with impacted Apple employees to provide support, including access to immigration experts. Apple employs 250 "Dreamers", Cook previously revealed in a tweet.

In December, Cook teamed up with Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch to write an opinion piece in The Washington Post about DACA, asking Congress to work quickly to come up with a solution before the end of the year. That never happened, and the government's stance on the issue now appears to be mired in confusion.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction ordering the Trump administration to maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis while legal challenges to the president's decision go forward.

In another development this week, concerns grew among hardliners after Trump met with lawmakers during a freewheeling televised session, in which he signaled he was open to compromise and seemed to express support for a number of legislative options to legalize Dreamers.

Indeed, the president appeared to suggest that the details of a legislative solution didn't matter to him, telling congressional leaders that he would approve whatever they sent him. "I will be signing it," Trump said towards the end of the meeting. "I'm not going to say, 'Oh, gee, I want this or I want that.' I'll be signing it."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Investors Urge Apple to Do More to Protect Children From Smartphone Addiction

Apple should do more to reduce growing smartphone addiction among children, said two major investors on Monday (via USA Today). In an open letter to the tech giant, New York-based Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers' Retirement System wrote of their increasing concern about the effects of mobile devices and social media on youngsters, urging Apple to offer more tools and choices to help prevent harm.

"There is a developing consensus around the world including Silicon Valley that the potential long-term consequences of new technologies need to be factored in at the outset, and no company can outsource that responsibility to an app designer, or more accurately to hundreds of app designers."
The letter cited several studies revealing the negative effects of smartphones and social media on children's mental and physical health. For example, one study found that 67 percent of over 2,300 teachers surveyed believe that the number of students who are negatively distracted by gadgets in the classroom is growing, while 75 percent say students' ability to focus on educational tasks has decreased. 

In another study, eighth graders who are heavy users of social media were shown to have a 27 percent higher risk of depression, compared to children who exceed the average time spent playing sports, socializing with friends, or doing homework, all of whom have a much lower risk.  

To counter the threat, the investors – who collectively control $2 billion worth of Apple shares – suggested that Apple set up an expert committee including child development specialists and make its information more available to researchers. The letter also proposed enhancing iOS and associated apps to give parents and guardians more resources to protect their children's wellbeing.
This is a complex issue and we hope that this is the start of a constructive and well-informed dialogue," said the partners. "As one of the most innovative companies in the history of technology, Apple can play a defining role in signaling to the industry that paying special attention to the health and development of the next generation is both good business and the right thing to do."

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